Date of Completion


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing


Breast Cancer, Social Stigma, Psychosocial Functioning


Introduction: Physical and psychosocial stress are the attributed causes of stigma among patients with breast cancer. More so, with breast cancer treatment which involves mastectomy and chemotherapy that may influence the self-esteem of women especially among Chinese women who regard their breasts as one of the most important features of femininity, and the absence of breast tissue can lead to feelings of inferiority, disappointment, and shame. The purpose of this quantitative correlation study design was to investigate the relationship between stigma and psychosocial adaptation among postoperative breast cancer patients.

Methods: In this study, a quantitative correlational research design was used to investigate 96 postoperative breast cancer patients who underwent treatment in a hospital in Shandong Province. Respondents were selected using purposive sampling and data were gathered through an on-line questionnaire which comprised three main questionnaires.

Results: The overall mean of stigma of postoperative breast cancer patients was 2.72 (SD=0.897), which was neutral/ambivalent feeling of stigma, the dimensions of concealable have the highest score 3.21 (SD=1.127) while origin has the lowest score of 2.21. The results of ANOVA showed that income, civil status and education status influenced postoperative stigma, while psychosocial adaptation was affected by income and treatment modality (p

Conclusion: Stigma is a widespread psychosocial phenomenon among patients with breast cancer in China, it was demonstrated that the stigma and psychosocial adaptation of postoperative breast cancer respondents had a negative relationship. It means the higher the feeling of stigma experience, the lower the psychosocial adaptation. Nursing staff may improve the feeling of stigma by improving psychosocial adaptation through sufficient emotional support specifically on the fear of rejection or being avoided as well as about the concept of breast cancer as punishment for sin.

First Advisor

Daisy H. Alberto